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06/14/2010

What Airlines are Doing to Reduce Carbon

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While the aviation industry’s contribution to carbon emissions is significantly lower than is generally perceived, airlines and air travelers all have steps to take to protect the health of the environment. 

Experts at Cheapflights.com outline the current state of the air travel industry as well as changes the airlines have and are making to reduce their carbon footprint. The guide also features easy and economical ways travelers can help transition eco-friendly travel from a fancy new trend to standard practice.

“Being a green traveler doesn’t have to mean giving up all creature comforts in the middle of nowhere, or stretching your budget at a luxurious eco-resort,” says Andrea Mooney, content editor at Cheapflights.com.  “It’s about a series of small decisions that save green – both money and the environment. You can preserve the place you visit by making small efforts to protect its resources and its residents. In our Travel(eco)nomics Report, we show that taking a green approach to travel is not only essential, but fortunately it’s also easier and more affordable than anyone has realized.”

In addition to its in-depth range of tips and tricks for becoming green, Travel(eco)nomics picks out five of the greenest airlines that are leading by example with the steps they’re taking to help the environment. The list includes:

· Continental Airlines: owner of the youngest fleet of airplanes in the industry with an average age of barely ten years

· British Airways: an industry leader in the development of bio-fuels and set to produce 16 million gallons by 2014

· Southwest Airlines: owner of more than $160 million in Required Navigational Performance avionics technology, which allows planes to reduce fuel usage by optimizing flight paths

· Virgin Atlantic: the first airline to operate a commercial flight partially powered by bio-fuel as well as publicly disclosing its CO2 emissions on its website

· QatarAirways: the first airline to run a commercial passenger flight powered by natural gas derived fuel

Additional themes within the report include green packing tips, eco-friendly destinations, and how to be a green traveler once you reach your destination. The bottom line is that advances are coming in the form of a new generation of fuel and fancy avionics technology, but there are also plenty of simple things travelers can do that are equally as important, including:

· Packing light to reduce weight

· Using public transportation where possible

· Remembering to switch off the lights

· Eating at local restaurants

View the full report for in-depth tips, top eco-destinations, more on the airlines and a host of other insider information. For more information visit www.cheapflights.com. For more eco-friendly travel tips, visit RTM's Earth Tones section.

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